Mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks.
In essence, a mentor should be:
Someone to be accountable to. It is often too easy to neglect priorities through recurring postponement of tasks. Sharing of your goals with your Mentor means that if you don’t complete them; your mentor wants to know why.
Someone to help you refine your ideas into practice. You have great ideas… some you will be able to put into practice easily, but others will be raw and need refinement to implement. Your coach has a vast knowledge of almost every strategy, what makes them work and what confounds their effectiveness.
Someone that has a wealth of ideas. For when you’ve just ‘run out of ideas’. But at all times, your coach will endeavor to make your contact educational, so that you understand the principals and can apply them for the rest of your life. Someone that has the contacts you need. When you need contacts for your business, equipment, investment advice, or just growing your library, your mentor has the contacts and knows where to find the information.
Someone outside, looking in. After a while, you find that you don’t see the same clarity that you used to. Like living next to a busy road; after a while you don’t hear the traffic. Your mentor is there to take a fresh look at you. He or she knows what to look for and most importantly, sees what your others see. And your mentor will always give you feedback.
Another important element to discuss is whether women in business need both female AND male mentors.